Baccarat is one of the most popular table games in land-based casinos and we show you where to play it at the best online casinos. There are two main elements in the game - the Banker and the Player - to whom a hand of 2 cards each is dealt. You get to place bets on the Banker or the Player winning, and a third option available is the possibility of a tie. Australian online casino fans get to play baccarat at most of the online casinos that accept them.
The player or the banker needs to put together a hand that is of 9 points or the value closest to it; that is the objective of the game. You can bet on the possible outcomes of the game. The hand values are the central focus of the game; the hand value you have determines whether you need to draw an extra card or are the original two cards that are dealt to you enough. The hand value also determines whether you win or lose.
Top Online Baccarat Casinos for Australian Players
We have put together for you a list of the top online casinos for Australian players that offer baccarat. These casinos are all safe and reliable and have been thoroughly tested and vetted by our experts for all the vital parameters that you would want a casino of your choice to have. All you have to do is browse through our list, pick a casino that you like and open an account with them to start playing.
While baccarat is easy to play, there are defined rules that you must follow. We list the main rules of the game for you here.
The game is played with a shoe of 6 to 8 decks of cards.
The objective is to put together a hand of 9 points or as close to that number as possible.
Once the game starts, the player and the dealer are dealt a hand of 2 cards each.
The hand value is determined by adding the individual values of the 2 cards that are dealt to the player and the banker.
Cards 2 to 9 are assigned their face value; so a 3 of Hearts would carry a value of 3.
The face cards and 10 all are assigned a value of 0.
If the total hand value exceeds 9, the values of the individual cards in the hand are added and only the right digit is assigned the final hand value.
A couple of examples will help you understand this better:
Say you have a hand of 6-7. The overall hand value is not 13, but just 3. You arrive at this number by adding the values of the 2 individual cards in the hand (6+7) and then taking the right digit of the resulting number - 3 in this case - and assigning it as the total hand value.
Say you have a hand of K-7. The overall hand value then would be 7 as all face cards are valued at 0.
An original hand of value 9 is called a natural.
A third card can be dealt as well during a game of online baccarat.
The following are the scenarios when this happens:
When the player's hand value is less than 5
When the player opts to stand and the banker's hand value is less than 5
There are 3 outcomes that you can bet on when you play baccarat:
The player winning
The banker winning
How to Play Baccarat at the Top Australian Online Casinos
Now that you know the basic rules of baccarat we will walk you through the table layout so you are aware of what to expect when you opt to play baccarat.
The baccarat table at any online casino will have the 4 distinctive spaces:
The right top where the shoe of cards is located
The central section with the words Player to the left and Banker to the right. This is the area where the cards are dealt once you have placed your bets.
The bet area where you can place your bets on the three possible outcome:
The section on the left with the word Player is where you will place wagers on the player winning.
The section on the right with the word Banker is where you will place wagers on the banker winning.
The section at the center with the word Tie is where you will place wagers on the possibility of a tie. The Tie bet pays 8 to 1 and this is indicated in the space provided.
The chip stack at the bottom center of the table with the chips of different denominations for you to choose from.
The game itself is simple and easy to play. Once you click on Baccarat from the list of games in the Games tab, the game screen opens. This is what you will need to do:
Click on the Player, Tie or Banker tabs to indicate which of the outcomes you want to bet on. You can also bet on all three of them in a single hand. You get paid for the outcome that wins and the money that you spent betting on the other 2 outcomes is deducted. There is a maximum and minimum bet amount in each game.
Once you have chosen which outcome(s) you want to bet on, click the chip stacks at the bottom to place the wager. You can click on multiple chips to form a combined value; e.g. click on the chip value 100 twice and 25 once to form a total wager of 250.
Once the wagers are placed the Deal and Clear Chips buttons become active.
Click the Deal button to initiate the deal.
Click the Clear Chips button to clear the chips you have used to wager and replace them with fresh chips for a different wager value.
Once you click the Deal button two cards each are dealt to the Player and the Banker. The deal is alternate - one card to the player is followed by a card to the banker, and the process is repeated again - to ensure fair play.
Based on the value of the hand, the player and/or the banker may opt for a third card. This happens in the following situations:
The player has a hand value less than 6, in which case he will draw a third card.
The banker has a hand value less than 6 and the player opts to stand, in which case he draws a third card.
Whoever has a hand value of 9 or closest to it - Banker or Player - is declared the winner. If you bet on the Player and won the win amount is directly credited to your casino account. If you bet on the Banker and won, the win amount is added to your casino account after a 5% commission is deducted.
Once the results are declared you are ready for the next round. At this point in time three buttons become active on the screen again:
Rebet: This allows you to repeat the earlier bet for the next game.
Rebet X2: This option allows you to repeat and double your earlier bet for the next game.
New Bet: This option allows you to place a fresh bet.
Once you click on any of these three options the cards that have been dealt already are cleared and the table is now ready for the next game.
The following are the payouts for the different outcomes:
Winning by placing your bets on the Banker pays you 19 to 20.
Winning by placing your bets on the Player pays you 1 to 1.
Winning by placing your bet on a Tie pays you 8 to 1.
Some More Bets You Can Use When Playing Online Baccarat
At some online baccarat casinos you will get 2 other bets that you can place. These are:
This bet gives you a win if the first two cards in the Player's hand are of the same value and form a pair.
This bet gives you a win if the first two cards in the Banker's hand are of the same value and form a pair.
Both these bets give you a healthy payout of 10 to 1, because that outcome is quite hard to come by.
Also, depending on the software provider behind the baccarat game there are a number of other side bets that could be available to you. These include, among others:
You find the Perfect Pair side bet in baccarat games from Playtech. The bet gives you a win if the first 2 cards in a Player hand are identical in value and suit. This side bet comes with a high house edge of 13% and a payout of 12 to 1.
This side bet is usually found in Mini Baccarat games and is quite popular. The payout for a hand value of 9 points pays you 30 to 1. It comes with a house edge of 2.65% for a Player bet in an 8-deck game. For a Banker bet, the house edge in an 8-deck game is 9.37%.
This is a side bet that you get in a popular baccarat variant called EZ Baccarat. You win with this bet if the Banker has a hand value of 7 across 3 cards. The payout for this side bet is quite high at 40 to 1. The house edge that comes with it is high as well, at 7.6%.
This is another side bet that you see in EZ Baccarat, the same game that offers the Dragon 7 side bet. The bet gives you a win if the Banker has a hand value of 8 across 3 cards. This side bet comes with a high house edge of 10.16% but the payout is high too at 25 to 1.
House Edge and Odds in Online Baccarat
One of the reasons that baccarat is popular among players is the relatively low house edge on the different bets available. The house edge becomes critical because it tells you how much of an advantage the house has over you, and its direct relation to the odds of your winning.
The house edge in baccarat is relatively modest, even low in that it could go as low as 1.09%. The edge also varies for the different bet types. Statistical data indicates that in the case of bets that do not result in a tie, the Player wins 49.32% of the time while the Banker wins about 50.68%. The house edge is favorable for a Banker's bet, which is why there is a 5% commission on wins scored by betting on the Banker.
The odds in baccarat vary depending on the bet type. We list the odds for the major bets below:
As you see from the above listing, the Tie bet offers the worst odds. This is because the probability of a tie occurring is very low in baccarat, though it still does happen. The house edge is high as well for this bet, which results in high and unfavourable odds. The bet with the best odds is the bet on the Banker. The bet continues to be a suitable option even despite the fact that there is a 5% commission charged on wins from this bet.
Another thing to consider is the number of decks used in a game of online baccarat. The number of decks has a direct influence on the payout. This is especially true in the case of the Tie bet. For the Banker and Player bets the odds vary but not that significantly for a game with 8 card decks and one with a single card deck.
The following table shows this:
Number of Decks
The Martingale Betting System in Baccarat
Baccarat is a game where a lot of people will try to use betting systems to influence play in such a way that they win more often. A very good system of doing this is by using the Baccarat Martingale betting system. This system is used in blackjack too, and has a very simple way of working. The Martingale betting system operates from a simple premise: when you lose a round, double the bet in the next round. Continue doing this till you win; that way you recover whatever you lost.
When you apply the Martingale system to baccarat you will usually not consider the Tie bet as it has a much higher house edge than the Banker and Player bets. The Player bet is a safer option as the Banker bet pays you 19 to 20 given the 5% commission that is charged on winning it.
While the system itself sounds great it will probably operate to its fullest potential in a controlled environment. In a real life land-based or online casino environment it will fall flat over a period of time. This is because of a small but very critical limit: the bet limit. Every online casino that you come across usually has a minimum and maximum bet limit. The following scenario explains this perfectly.
Assume that you are playing using the Martingale system and have lost quite a bit continuously. Each time you have lost you have doubled your bet amount as per the system you are following. And now suddenly you find that you have reached the maximum betting limit. You place that bet amount and lose again; now you cannot double the bet size anymore!
Brief History of Baccarat
Baccarat was invented during the Middle Ages in Italy by Felix Falguierein. The term baccarat originates from the Italian word 'baccara', which in Italian means zero.
The game is said to be based on an ancient Etruscan legend of a virgin who had to throw a 9-sided dice to determine her fate. As per the legend:
A dice roll of 8 or 9 allowed her to aspire for the highest position, that of a priestess.
A dice roll of 6 or 7 allowed her to just live; however, she could not be part of any future events - religious or community based.
A dice roll lower than 6 was the worst as it meant banishment to the sea and subsequent drowning.
From Italy the game moved to other countries like France where another popular version originated, called Chemin de Fer. From France the game moved to England and then on to the rest of the world, starting with South America. In Cuba, the game was called Punto Banco.
The game came to the USA sometime in the 1950s and the first casino where it saw action there was the Sands Casino in Las Vegas. It retained its elitist aura over the years at the land-based casinos across the world. Local conditions have resulted in newer rules being added or existing rules being modified, giving rise to different types of baccarat for players to choose from.
Baccarat finally reached the masses with the arrival of the online casino: it made baccarat easily accessible to just about anyone who wanted to play it and had the money to bet on it.